The New Fireball on Jupiter –“So Large and Bright that Amateur Astronomers on Earth Spotted the Flash”


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Another massive impact on Jupiter was first reported by amateur astronomer Dan Peterson of Racine, Wisc., who was observing gas giant when the event occurred, according to the website, which tracks space weather and night sky events. 

A video of the flash was revealed a few hours later by George Hall, an amateur astronomer located in Dallas Texas. He used a webcam mounted on a MEADE 12″ LX200GPS. 

"It was a bright flash that lasted only 1.5 – 2 seconds," Peterson told Peterson used a Meade 12-inch LX200GPS telescope to observe the event, which occurred near the southern edge of Jupiter's northern equatorial belt of clouds.  

In a report posted on the Cloudy Nights forum, Peterson said it wasn't clear if the impact would leave a scar on Jupiter much like those seen in 1994, when the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke into pieces and peppered the planet with debris, creating visible impact marks in Jovian cloud tops. It is also not yet known if the object to strike Jupiter was a small asteroid or comet.

"My best guess is that it was a small undetected comet that is now history, hopefully it will sign its name on Jupiter's cloud tops," Peterson wrote.

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